A cancer-treating drug that functions just like a flu shot is close to being approved.
The treatment works like a vaccine. The treatment takes a cancer patient’s tumor cells and uses them in a specialized, monthly injection. This allows an individual’s immune system to fight the disease.
Researchers at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, Texas have been working on the experimental treatment for the past two decades. They have developed it to control a wide range of cancer including throat and ovarian cancer and Ewing’s Sarcoma. Ewing’s Sarcoma is a fast-spreading bone cancer that typically target children, teens, and young adults.
The hope is to change cancer from an acute deadly disease to a chronic disease. Similarly to diabetes, it isn’t cured, but it is controlled.
This treatment doesn’t cure cancer, it makes it chronic. This treatment is a considerably less taxing way to treat cancer then chemotherapy.
According to one of the participants in the trial, it is quick and painless. Patients simply go to the hospital for a couple hours and then come out and have little to no side effects.
The treatment has made it through the first phase of FDA approval. However, it could be four or five more years before it is granted full approval.
This form of immunotherapy eliminates the need for chemotherapy and other difficult treatments.
The immune system doesn’t recognize cancer cells on its own. The immune system needs outside help to attack the disease. This particular type of immunotherapy creates a personal shot for each patient. They take cells from the patient’s tumor, modify them so the immune system can attack the cancer, than re-inject the cells back into the body.
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